Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Chestnut-sided Warbler in basic plumage by Sue Barth ©

Scoping September

September sees the largest number of southbound neotropical songbird migrants, including the warblers, which are in their more challenging to identify fall plumages. Hotspots like Tifft Nature Preserve, Amherst State Park, Goat Island, Fort Niagara State Park, and Rock Point Provincial Park are some popular places to visit at this time. While fewer in number, shorebirds continue to push through the region. Dabbling ducks continue to build while diving ducks begin to trickle into the region.

Most pronounced movements will be following the passage of a cold front and fallouts are possible if storms usher in those fronts. Migrants can end up anywhere so all local hotspots hold possibilities.

A strong southwest blow down the stretch of Lake Erie can push in all sorts of birds, from rare small gulls accompanying Bonaparte’s Gulls to terns, phalaropes, jaegers, ducks, and a few raptors. Anywhere along the Buffalo waterfront can prove rewarding during these storms.

Buffalo's Outer Harbor is a great place to check for Black-bellied and American Golden-Plovers. The short grass areas near the Seaway Slip at the base of the Skyway are worth a scope. While here, you should also take a walk through Times Beach. Habitat restoration has been initiated here and birding will improve as native plants start maturing.


The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.


  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know what will be found on one of our many field trips!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

Registrations are now open!

More About the Conference          Register for the Conference          Field Trips 


  Contribute Your BOS Trip Photos

If anyone has any BOS trip or field trip photos to add, there are already a couple of albums started for a the last couple of trips. Please feel free to add yours; I'm sure everyone would love to see them!

  NEEDED: Writers for the Prothonotary Month

Writers for The Prothonotary Month are needed. Please contact Mike Morgante (morgm@roadrunner.com) if you're willing to help.

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Sep 24, 2017

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Details: (click for more info)

Leader - Joe Mitchell
Meet at 8am at the footbridge just past the Visitor's Center.

Tifft is one of Buffalo's premier birding hotspots. With over 200 species recorded at this urban preserve, we are sure to end up with a great checklist for the day. Tifft includes ponds, cattail marsh, riparian areas and a grassland. The trails are level and easily walkable and there are also short boardwalk sections. At this time of year we will be focusing on Neotropical migrants and there's always a chance at Virginia Rail along the boardwalk. If water levels are low in the marsh, we will hope to cross paths with shorebirds.


Oct 08, 2017

Field Trip - Batavia WWTP

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Doug Beattie
Meet at 9am outside the admin building.

Join Doug for a drive through this freshwater treatment complex. This is an easy drive with little walking involved through one of the best rarity magnets in the region! The list of fabulous birds found here in the past include Piping Plover, Northern Wheatear, Tufted Duck and Bohemian Waxwing! This is also THE place to catch up with the locally rare Eared Grebe. This species has been reliable at this location for many years and we will make a concerted effort to find one. Another bird that seems to show up here with regularity is Red-necked Phalarope.

At the very least, we should enjoy flocks of dabbling ducks with numbers of Ruddy Duck and Northern Shoveler peaking this time of year.


Oct 11, 2017

Meeting - Brent Stephenson Presenting...

Details: (click for more info)

October 11: Wed. BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science at 7:00 PM.

This month's topic will be presented by Brent Stephenson.

Brent Stephenson PhD (Ornithology).
Brent was born in New Zealand and has been a birder since childhood. In 2005 he completed a goal he had from a young age, with the conclusion of his Ph.D., studying the breeding biology of Australasian gannets in New Zealand. This further heightened his interest in seabirds, and in 2003, along with Sav Saville, he rediscovered the “extinct” New Zealand storm-petrel, a bird known previously from only three museum specimens collected during the 1800s. With support from National Geographic, he led a team conducting further research on this enigmatic seabird. His passion for travel, birds, and the ocean has led him to many corners of the world working on small Expedition ships. It’s a great way of seeing remote and inaccessible places and their wildlife. Brent has traveled to many parts of the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, including Australia, Solomons, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, French Polynesia, China, Americas, and Africa, and worked on ships in many of these places.

His passion and knack for wildlife photography has led to increasing publication of photos and articles in books and magazines, both within New Zealand and overseas.

In his “spare time”, while home in New Zealand, Brent conducts ecological research, conservation work, and co-owns and runs Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ.

He lives near Napier on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, and recently completed Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide.


Oct 14, 2017

October Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

Saturday, October 14th.

All BOS members are encouraged to participate in the October Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our October Count webpage:

October Count Info  


Oct 28, 2017

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plain

Details: (click for more info)

Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for fall migrants.

Meet at 8 AM at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 and Route 104, north of Lockport.

Leader: Willie D'Anna 751-3637 or dannapotter@roadrunner.com.

This trip is a car caravan of sorts, plying the rural roads of Niagara County in search of late fall migrants. Every year is different but with all of the fields and open space habitat we will check it is reasonable to see Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and possibly early winter arrivals such as Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk. Horned Larks should be added to the day's list as well.
A few stops along the Lake Ontario shore lookouts should produce Horned Grebe and several species of scoters and other diving ducks.



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